EXPERIENCE GIFTS: 3 WAYS TO DO IT FOR V-DAY (OR ANY OTHER DAY)
Ok, so… Valentine’s day is coming up, and I promise I’m gonna stop rolling my eyes really soon at the thought of it.
Sarcasm aside, I’m not such a big fan of this holiday, simply because I feel like it’s just an excuse for florists to sell flowers for 3x the price, and for women to put a crazy amount of pressure on their man because they have unrealistic expectations of what constitutes a normal “demonstration of affection”. Then it becomes a tacky shit-show of who got the nicest flowers with a teddy bear so f*cking hideous you’ll need therapy if you sleep with that thing in your bed.
I guess what I’m saying is, if you don’t love someone the other 364 days of the year, you’re not gonna love them more because it’s February 14. Also, on a side note, if every year your husband has to go above and beyond and top your wedding day 25 times in terms of romance to make sure he can get laid in the next 3 months, you need to take a chill pill - HA!
That being said, I understand that it’s great to be able to show someone you love them and have a dedicated day for that, when it’s even OK to be a little cheesy. And even though I make a point to never have any expectations on Valentine’s day, I was still happily surprised last year, when Sasha picked me up from work with a Victoria’s Secret bag on the front seat. After all, lingerie is one good reason to be excited for this holiday, and one good way to show someone you love them, wether you’re giving or receiving.
Still, I find lingerie to be more an accessory to an experience gift, because let’s face it, no one is getting you lingerie so you can look at it in the drawer. The gift of lingerie is really the gift of a good time with your significant other.
Which brings me to the ultimate subject of this post: EXPERIENCE GIFTS.
Because we’re in 2018 and the most precious thing one can give is no longer money but time, giving someone an experience gift, especially if it’s something for you to enjoy with your significant other, is really the ultimate proof of love. I find that Valentine’s day is actually the perfect Holiday to give an experience to someone dear, because if you’re in a relationship, except for your anniversary, you don’t really get any other dedicated day to do that.
Also, in a relatively new relationship, like when it’s your first Valentine’s day together, knowing how to approach it can be tricky. You’re wondering if the other person will get you something expensive, in which case you don’t want to come up short and look like you don’t care. But if it’s really recent, you might not want to spend 200$ if the other person still thinks it’s too new to do anything. So here comes the magical solution: The experience gift.
To be clear, I love experience gifts not because they’re cheap (actually, they can get much more expensive than any watch pretty quickly) but because they’re a great occasion to spend time together doing something you normally wouldn’t. Also, they're a great way to spice it up a little and forget the heart-shaped box of chocolates and dinner at a restaurant - *snore! Here are a few ideas that I think are great, depending on the amount of time you’ve been together, your budget and your tastes.
If your relationship is recent and you don’t live together
Invite him over, get a good bottle of his favourite drink and cook him dinner. Depending on your skill set in the kitchen, you can make something really simple or go full out and make a 5-course meal. He’ll be impressed both ways and you can make it as affordable or expensive as you’d like. Plus, you can tell him a few days in advance that you’d like him to come over for dinner, so it sets the tone and prevents any awkward situation. It’s also much more romantic than going to a restaurant: He gets to kiss the chef (and then some) AND you’re not surrounded with annoying people holding hands and eating cheesecake from the same fork while looking at each other with watery eyes like they’re both scheduled to be on death row.
Plus, he might feel relieved to know that dinner is taken care of and he doesn’t have to take a new mortgage on his home to take you to a restaurant that requires a 6 months reservation just to impress you. It’s bound to set a relaxed atmosphere, and when people are relaxed, well… Things are just much more fun. He will appreciate this day much more if you can take the edge off a little for him AND will be super impressed to see how much "wife material" you are.
If you’ve been together for a long time and want to switch things up from the usual routine
Why not make it a sexy holiday? Get yourself some lingerie, something you know he would love, maybe something a little more daring than usual. Then, surprise him with a romantic vibe in the bedroom and let him enjoy you. Give him the lap dance of his life, try a new position, whatever makes you feel sexy, go for it. What I love about this idea is that it takes a holiday that usually puts pressure on people and makes it enjoyable AF (litteraly).
Also, I personally find that bedroom fun is a great way to demonstrate your love and affection for your significant other, especially if you’ve been together for a long time and have had millions of other situations in which you can show you care. And trust me, your man will remember a lap dance from you much longer than he would remember any material gift, and he will also enjoy it much more!
If you both have a passion for wine
Take him on a wine-tasting trip. It sounds like such a basic idea, but it’s actually SO great and incredibly romantic. You get to discover a new place, new wines, and a bit more about each other along the way. Talk about 2 birds one stone. It’s like going on a trip, but without having to plan out entire days of activities - it’s kind of all laid-out for you. And you can also make it as affordable or expensive as you want it to be, depending on where you choose to go.
You can visit local wineries (most American and Canadian - not to mention European - countries, have local small wineries), go to Napa Valley (which is amazing!), or organize a full-blown wine-tasting trip to France, Italy or New-Zealand, which all have extremely charming wineries to visit. I love visiting wineries because, well, to be honest: day-drinking. But also because I feel like it’s a super romantic thing to do, and it allows you spend quality time together and enjoy a few drinks, without having to be at a crowded bar where you have to scream at each other over a shitty remix in order to have a conversation. Did I mention day-drinking? Outside? In a beautiful setting? I think I’ve said enough.
The list could go on and on, seriously. Last year, for Sasha’s birthday, we went on a champagne cruise in Newport Beach and then spent the afternoon exploring Balboa island. And yes, Sasha has a few embarrassing pictures of me eating a frozen banana very enthusiastically. (he got me an extra-large one, because he’s just that sweet). The next day, I also rented a boat and we spent most of the day boating in the open sea, with the dog wearing a chihuahua-sized life jacket, which was one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. Both days were super simple and right next to home, but SO much fun! We also went on a weekend-long camping trip in Joshua Tree, wine-tasting in Napa, trips to Mexico, and I’m hoping we’ll keep the tradition of experience gifts alive.
Even though Sasha gave me some pretty rad, thoughtful presents like a heart-shaped diamond necklace (which I wear everyday and think of him every time I see it) and gorgeous boots for Christmas (it gets cold AF in Canada), my favourite gifts are the ones that allow us to spend quality time together, if only because day-to-day life is so busy, it’s great to chill out sometimes and just enjoy each other’s company.
Now I’m gonna leave you guys with a little bonus idea for your man: no matter what the occasion is, a present that was a huuuge hit was the book of sexy pictures I gave Sasha on our first year anniversary. It’s technically not an experience you get to enjoy together, which is why I didn’t include it in the list, but it’s still not something you can get at a store, and it’s 100% unique. We were apart on our anniversary because he was in California and I was working in Montreal, so I just sent him a digital book of pictures of myself, wearing lingerie (think boudoir pictures) and he LOVED it. I also included a few sexy memories in there to remind him of some good moments we had together. To be honest, I think he loved it more than the trips and the cruise, and it cost litteraly nothing to make.
Now guys, let me know what were the experience gifts you enjoyed giving or receiving, as I’m always on the lookout for the next great thing to give (or subtly beg for - HA!). Hit me up in the comments below or on Instagram. Also, if you're looking for a really simple, sweet and inexpensive gift for Galentines, check this out!
Love, Jenny xx